Footprints in the Sand – My Lesson In Digital Reputation

FootprintInSand

On the Internet a digital footprint is the word used to describe the trail, traces or “footprints” that people leave online. This is information transmitted online, such as forum registration, e-mails and attachments, uploading videos or digital images and any other form of transmission of information — all of which leaves traces of personal information about yourself available to others online. Vangie Beal

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my digital footprint and what it says about me. First and foremost I am a Christian. Unashamed and saved by His grace, however I don’t always include that in my bios. Anyone looking at my regular Facebook account can clearly see my beliefs, but you would have to dig a little deeper into my Twitter to see my personal religious views. Twitter is the foundation for my PLN and serves a different purpose than Facebook. As far as Instagram goes, I use it primarily for my small business and as such, it is a reflection of my business world. Other social media I engage in (more infrequently) are Snapchat and Google+. Then I think about all of the accounts that I have for the MET program at BSU. I probably have dozens of apps on my computer/devices from the course requirements over the past year. All of those apps, including my blog, reflect my learning and goals as an educator.  All this to say, this activity is leaving an indelible mark on my digital footprint.

When I Googled my name, this is what I found on the first page:

DigitalFootprintGoogle

Only the first entry on this page is actually linked to me!  The rest of the entries are other ‘Joanna Liebermans’ that, as far as I know, I have no relation to.  On the strip of pictures, the fourth picture is the profile picture I use for grad school and professional purpose. As I progressed to the next Google page, I found the first two items linked to two social media sites I occasionally use, Flipagram and Pinterest. There is then a listing for a fundraising link for a Joanna Lieberman involved with Project100 (not me). It is not until the fourth and fifth listings on the second page that my learning logs for the MET program are listed!  These are followed by a few more listing unrelated to me.

I realize that a digital footprint is much more than what can be found by Googling a name.  As Vangie Beal said in the above quote, our digital footprints, “describe the trail, traces or “footprints” that people leave online”. As a teacher and business owner, I must be mindful and careful about the footprint I am leaving behind. Privacy settings, tags, and comments must be monitored closely to be sure my integrity is held intact. One thing I am sure to teach this digital generation of students is, unlike a footprint in the sand, a digital footprint does not wash away with the ocean’s tide.

What is Digital Footprint? Webopedia Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2017, from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/digital_footprint.html

Creative Expression: Social Network Learning – CoPs, Connectivism, and PLNs

https://app.api.edu.buncee.com/player/e8abe5dff3944d34982a5a7da891187f?render_slide_panel=0&loop=0

When creating a visual expression of the three concepts in this module: Communities of Practice, Connectivism, and Personal Learning Networks, I chose to begin with the idea of gears. Alone a gear (or cog) does not serve much purpose, but when linked with other gears and a common purpose, these individual gears become part of a valuable network. That is how it is with educators. Alone we are isolated and less productive, but when we become part of a learning community, we can achieve so much more.

Communities of Practice are all about togetherness, which is why I chose images of hands reaching in together and small groups of people collaborating.  According to Lave and Wenger (2014), in Communities of Practice, learning involves a deepening process of participation. Learning is done in groups and the focus is on lifelong learning rather than a short-term project goal. In CoPs, learners collaborate, communicate, and create through social networks over extended periods of time. People in Communities of Practice share a common interest or passion.

Connectivism is a learning theory developed by Dr. George Siemens and Stephen Downes. It “seeks to explain complex learning in a rapidly changing social digital world”(Education2020). According to Dr. Siemens, Connectivism is a social connected process of learning. The visual interpretation of a network of rapidly firing neurons that are connecting through external social spaces is the image I hoped to portray through my next slide. Learning is a process of connecting information through social sources such as blogs and social media. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have redefined learning in the 21st century and build on the theory of Connectivism.

Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) have, for many educators, redefined professional development. Rather than meeting with a predetermined (by administrators) team of colleagues to discuss a predetermined (by administrators) topic, PLNs use social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate, and create with like-minded individuals. PLNs can meet any time and any place.  Each PLN is unique and each member is a potential source of information. A PLN can be thought of a “collective knowledge”. Facebook and Twitter, as depicted on my PLN slide, have become a central part of PLNs.

My final slide is a visual image bring these three concepts together.  Over time, learning has evolved from an individual practice with a fixed beginning and end, to a community of learners committed to lifelong education. It is no longer separated from other activities. Professional development is no longer fixed to one place and time with one “instructor” or leader commanding all of the attention. As individuals we have a lot to offer, but as a community, we gain so much more.

Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger). (2014, July 16). Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/communities-of-practice-lave-and-wenger.html
Education-2020 – Connectivism. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2017, from http://education-2020.wikispaces.com/Connectivism
Graffin, M. (2015, November 14). Step 1: What is a PLN? Retrieved from https://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/pln-challenge-1-what-the-heck-is-a-pln/
Whitby, T. (2013, November 18). How Do I Get a PLN? Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/how-do-i-get-a-pln-tom-whitby

Social Networking: EdTech 543 Introduction

 

“Education needs role models who demonstrate that complex problems are solved by cooperative networks of creative & passionate individuals.” – Alec Couros

How will the use of social networking sites impact my teaching? As we venture into this course, Edtech 543, this is the question I am beginning to ponder.  I have used Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram for years. Each of these social media sites plays a different role in my life. Facebook is my way of connecting with friends and family around the world. I was born in England, went to college in New York, and first started my teaching career in Florida. Facebook allows me to stay in touch with my friends and family both near and far. I do belong to a few education related Facebook groups, but I primarily use Facebook for personal contacts. Google Plus has not been a central part of my social media life. I joined when I began my graduate courses at BSU and only post to it when I create a new class assignment. I am a Wellness Advocate for a holistic healthcare company and Instagram is my go to social media site for connecting with others in the business.

So that leaves Twitter.  Twitter is the only social media site that I use primarily for professional development.  I have a network of Twitter friends with similar interests in education that I connect with on a daily basis.  I have gained valuable insight into teaching pedagogy and am often encouraged by like-minded educators in my Twitter #PLN. Last summer I was part of a Twitter book club where we discussed A.J. Juliani’s book LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity. My experience in reading the book was much enriched through the discussions and insights of my PLN.

Because I teach in a small, private school and teach students under the age of 13, social media has not really been a part of my classroom instruction. Most social media sites are blocked by the school’s security software and my students are not old enough to join most social media sites (although I am aware that many of my students have their own personal accounts). I am looking forward to discovering how I can effectively, safely, and appropriately integrate social media and social networking into my classroom environment. Through this course I hope to better understand the role social media can play in my classroom.

Beginnings

Welcome to my Learning Log!  I am currently a student a Boise State University pursuing my Master of Educational Technology degree and a certificate as a Tech Integration Specialist.  The purpose of this website is to display my work (artifacts) as I progress through the program. I am a teacher and wish to instill in my students a love of learning and the courage to explore.  I am looking forward to beginning the journey…